Janesville School District Closes School January 22 for COVID-19 Vaccinations

Covid-19 Vaccine
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Janesville (OnFocus) – The School District of Janesville announced it is closing school on Friday, January 22, for the purpose of vaccinating district employees.

The announcement for the Janesville schools was the first initiative of its kind in Wisconsin, which was arranged by MercyHealth.

The complete press release:

Last minute calendar change to accommodate COVID-19 vaccination of all SDJ Employees

The COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is progressing rapidly, and the Rock County Public Health Department is allowing the region to move on to group 1-B of the vaccine prioritization list. Group 1-B includes school district employees, due to their interaction with students and families. Therefore, to expedite the vaccination process, MercyHealth has dedicated Friday, January 22, 2021 as a day to provide COVID-19 vaccination to all School District of Janesville (SDJ) employees.

“To make it possible to vaccinate more than 1,300 SDJ employees, the SDJ will not hold school on Friday, January 22, 2021,” said Steve Pophal, Superintendent. “We learned today of this opportunity to vaccinate all employees, and we want to give families as much lead time as possible to make arrangements for childcare coverage. We are very grateful to MercyHealth for making this a possibility.”

As there will be no school for students on Friday, January 22, 2021, teachers will send students home on Thursday, January 21, 2021 with age-appropriate lessons/tasks that they may complete over the long weekend. To be effective, the COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses spaced several weeks apart. Therefore, MercyHealth has also dedicated Friday, February 12, 2021 as the SDJ vaccination day for the second dose. Plans are still in development for how the district will address school for students on that day.

The School District of Janesville appreciates the patience and flexibility families and the community have shown throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency. We understand that accommodating a short notice calendar change can be difficult. The vaccination of SDJ employees, however, will go a long way in our ability to keep our students and school safe as we navigate this COVID-19 pandemic.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]